This week I’m sharing my favourite Irish online companies for Christmas shopping. Recipe wise, I’ve got my smoked mackerel pate and posh nuts, the perfect nibbles for any Christmas party.
For me personally, I hate stressful Christmas shopping. I would much rather go for a jog than go and battle the crowds in town.
Atlantic Equipment Project
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.atlanticequipmentproject.com">This brand</a> was introduced to me on Instagram. They make hard wearing backpacks and carry equipment. From the second I clicked on their site I loved the feel and look of what they were doing. The person in your life that loves to get outdoors and explore will appreciate a gift from this Irish brand based in the northwest of Ireland. My personal pick on their website was the AE weekend in caramel and burgundy.
This was another Instagram suggestion and this time it’s for a cookery school in Wicklow. It’s called <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.ciaraskitchen.ie">Ciara’s Kitchen</a> and they do four cooking demos per week. If you are near that area why not gift someone a voucher for the two of you to go along to a cookery demo. It sounds like it would be a lovely way to spend an evening.
Told & Co
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.toldandco.com">This luxury watch brand</a>, established by former international rugby player Tomás O’Leary and his wife Julie, is one of my favourites. The watches are beautifully made and the quality is second to none. Pop online to treat yourself or a loved one and support an ambitious Irish startup company.
This is <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.kinvaraskincare.com">a range of plant-powered products</a> created by Joanne Reilly. They combine 100% natural ingredients, delicious fragrances and beautiful packaging to create a truly special product. I’ve heard great things about the absolute cleansing oil. Apparently, it leaves your skin feeling like you’ve had a facial and makes taking off makeup, even stubborn mascara, a doddle.
I love candles and these are my go to. They last for ages and are made from 100% organic plant wax. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.celticcandles.ie">They do personalised ones</a> too which would be the perfect stocking filler for your Secret Santa person.
The Irish Sock Society
This one popped up as a suggestion on my Instagram and I love the idea. Founded by best friends Alex and Joanna, <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.irishsocksciety.com">these colourful and funny socks</a> are the perfect Chris Kindle gift. They use top quality materials and all packaging is 100% recyclable which is a big tick in my book.
This is one of my favourites when I’m stuck for a workday lunch. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.crunchfoodcompany.com">Their menus</a> are delicious, healthy and change daily to keep things interesting. The healthy Christmas hampers are back this year and are the perfect gift for that fitness person in your life (or for yourself)!
This Irish based snack company makes wonderful healthy and tasty products. Their Pro-mix sample pack is the perfect stocking filler and the Belgian chocolate nut butter is divine too. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.wyldsson.com">Buying from these guys</a> means you will be snacking healthy and happy plus supporting a brilliant Irish business. Your best option is to go online and look at their shop to purchase from them.
The brainchild of Kerry footballer Donnchadh Walsh and former Kerry hurlers John ‘Tweek’ Griffin and James Flaherty, <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.balanceexpo.ie">the Balance Expo</a> aims to bring together leaders from the worlds of fitness, health, nutrition and sport in a unique one-day event. I am speaking at the event in January and think a pair of early bird tickets would be the perfect gift for any health enthusiasts in your life.
The Firehouse Bread School
I did their one-day bread course earlier in the year and it was one of my most enjoyable days of 2017. There was something magical about spending the day learning about baking on Heir Island in West Cork. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.thefirehouse.ie/bread-school">They packed so much into the day</a> and it was interesting to hear Patrick Ryan speak about the ingredients and why good quality bread is totally worth the effort for your health.
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.3fe.com">3FE</a> is the coffee business started by Colin Harmon. They have beautiful coffee blends. The Christmas tasting subscription is a fresh bag of coffee delivered to the door on Christmas week, the receiver will then be sent a monthly bag of coffee to their address for the remainder of the subscription. Colin has also written a fantastic book and for anyone with a pipeline dream of quitting the day job and opening up their own coffee shop, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
I wanted to give these guys a shout out for teaming up with me this year to create healthy solutions for food in the workplace.
Together we have been tackling the best ways to keep people making healthy food choices in the workplace. It’s been a joy and I can’t wait to get stuck in and see what we can do in 2018.
These are one of my favourite evening treats. They’re fiery, delicious and take less than 20 minutes to prepare. You can leave them to cool completely — but if you eat them straight from the oven, they really hit the spot!
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp agave syrup
150g mixed nuts
1 tbsp chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the agave syrup. Take the pan off the heat and toss in the nuts. Stirring well to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the rosemary, chilli and salt and stir well.
Spread the nuts on a baking tray.
Roast for about 12 minutes, turning once. Leave the nuts to cool on the tray or serve them hot straight away.
Smoked Mackerel Pâté
Before my husband Peter sailed in two Olympic Games for Ireland, he took to the water for other reasons. He loves fishing. As a child, mackerel was his speciality catch.
This pâté is a great way to enjoy mackerel and to get some ?sh oils into your diet. I’d much rather eat this pâté than take a load of supplements.
Makes: 1 small bowl
Prep time: 5 minutes
100g smoked mackerel ?llet, skin removed, ?aked
100g cream cheese or cottage cheese
1 tbsp horseradish sauce
1 tbsp chives, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Place the mackerel, cream cheese and horseradish sauce in a large bowl and use a fork to mix well.
Add the chives, lemon zest and juice and mix until thoroughly combined. Season to taste and serve.
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